Installing a Sump Pump and Sump Pit

Installing a Sump Pump and Sump Pit

Steps to Installation

The following photographs were taken in a new residence where the sump basin had been buried in concrete. The newly built house had to have a final inspection before the sale was complete. A sump pump and basin was installed by the builder. However, it was not part of the planning. To get the inspection to pass, in agreement with the plans for the construction of the home, the sump pit had to not be installed. Fortunately, the builder did add the pit. Installed with the pit was a circuit of 4" drainage tubing as a French drain. The idea was to cover the sump pit, get the final inspection on the home in order for the family to move in and finish the sump pump system at a later time. However, the French Drain System was unable to lead the ground water away from the foundation, being the lines lead to a pit, entombed in concrete.

For this home, the basement took on water a half dozen times in a six-month period. Without the pump and discharge lines in place, the ground water had nowhere to go but, into the finished living space of the basement. The homeowner was finally at a point where he could unearth the pit and install a sump pump and discharge lines.

Beginning the effort, the sump pit was covered and needed to be restored. Therefore, this installation was as if we began from nothing. This is step one in sump pump installation. Excavate the sump pit. This was not an easy task. In fact, the builder had completely filled the pit with concrete and a few granite rocks. (See the following photo). Rock, concrete and damaged sump pit courtesy of Polte Homes.

After unearthing the pit, the condition may have been manageable with some modifications for a cover. However, the home owner made the smart choice and chose to have a new pit installed.

Once the damaged sump pit had been removed, the next step is to level the ground and set the replacement sump pit. This is difficult when the floor is already in place. The reason being, beneath the floor and around the old sump pit, there is a gravel sub-straight. When the damaged pit was removed, the gravel collapsed and continues to fall into the void as the ground is being prepared for the new sump pit.

Since the final inspection on the house did not expect to see discharge lines for a sump pump, the wall had to be penetrated to pass an 1 1/2" pvc discharge line to the outside. This line was run under the porch and tied into the underground rain leader closest to the porch.

After leveling the sump pit, filling the void around it and ensuring the discharge line was successfully passing through to the outside, the pump itself was prepared for installation.

Finally, a vinyl cement mix was used to seal the surface around the sump pit. The home owner's intent is to build a closet around the pit and provide an electrical outlet in the closet for the pump.

Discussion on the importance of sump pumps, click here.

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